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7:08am on Tuesday, 21st June, 2005:

The Longest Day


Ah, 21st June, the longest day of the year, the first day of Summer (but confusingly called Midsummer all the same).

Today will indeed be a long day for me as I'm being an external examiner at Portsmouth University and I have to look through 10 courses' worth of material this morning. Though this is less arduous than actually sitting the examinations, it's nevertheless compellingly boring. External examiners at Portsmouth have very few powers, at least compared to what they can do at Essex; we're like The Queen and her relationship to the government, in that we have the right to be told, a right to advise, and we get paid for it. If we wanted to interview students or change marks or overturn ridiculous "my friend's parrot died" extenuating circumstances, we couldn't. Essex's externals can demand that students resit examinations writing in liquid silver ink on gold leaf paper if they want...

I'm staying in the same hotel I did last time, but this time in a normal room rather than a room for people in wheelchairs. I can happily report that this one has three settings on its power shower, rather than just two: off, stun, kill. It must be made by the same people who do the phasers in Star Trek.

I'd better go down to breakfast before all the eggs are gone,

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).